Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pre departure stress

Back from the south, it was going to be a mixture of more touring and final preparation of the boat, including restepping the mast. So much has happened in those 6 days that I could not take the time to make entries into the blog.
Once back in Whangarei, I learned that I had to delay restepping the mast until the 28th as the mechanics could not find the seal for the raw water pump of the main engine and had ordered it from abroad. Eventually, they found that blasted seal in Auckland, but it was too late. So, while waiting I went with Anne to visit the Kauri museum in Matahoke. Very interesting museum, mostly dedicated to the logging of the kauri trees that leave over 1800 years and from w
hich peop
le harvest the gum famous for many different applications, including jewelry. The museum also shows how the first settlers were leaving in New Zealand.
We did not have time to do the whole tour that I had planned, including visiting the forest where mo
st of the remaining kauri trees are, as I was anxious to get the work going on the boat.
We then went back to the boat and on the 28th at 6:00 in the morning, I left Riverside marina to go downriver to Dockland 5 where I got at 6:30 to get the mast stepped up. This was done at 7:15 and we sailed back to the Town Basin marina, waiting for the rigger to complete the work of tuning the mast and installing al
l the various fittings including reconnecting the radar, instruments and lights. I had taken the opportunity to install a tricolor light at the top of the mast. This was done mostly on the 29th. On the 30th work contin
ued somewhat and in the af
ternoon, Philippe arrived from Vanuatu. We had dinner at the local chinese and early morning next day, we drove to Waitangi, site of the house where the treaty between the Maori tribes and the crown of England was signed on February 6th, 1840. This treaty would guarantee Maori their land possession, whether private or as a group, and in exchange, the Maori agreed to place themselve under the authority of the Queen of England.
After the visit, we went back to take a ferry to Russell, which used to be the capital of New Zealand and is also the location of the next national boucan of the New Zealand brotherhood. We had lunch there and then drove back by way of the very nice coastal road to Whangarei.
Next day, it rained all
day. Bertrand flew back around noon and we went twice to the airport t
o meet him, but he himself kind of flew to Whangarei, then flew back to Auckland, then again to Whangarei and landed when we no longer expected him and went to the marina by his own means.
We had dinner with Bertrand on Papy Jovial and next day started the provisionning while waiting for Debbie to arrive in the afternoon.
Wednesday (today) was supposed to be the day of the final preparation and shopping for fresh products before leaving Thursday morning for Marsden Cove where we will top up the fuel tank and clear customs. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the second block (the one with a cheek) for the main sheet and we have to delay the departure until tomorrow late morning and the customs clearing on Friday m
orning. Half a day won't make that much difference on a 10 days crossing. Actually, it might guarantee us an arrival on a working day rather than a week end.

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